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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-10-015
Synopsis: On June 26, 2009, a multivehicle accident occurred on Interstate 44 (I-44) near Miami, Oklahoma, shortly after a minor accident in the same vicinity occurred. The minor accident took place about 1:13 p.m., when a 2001 Ford Focus traveling eastbound at milepost 321.7 on I-44 drifted into a truck-tractor semitrailer parked on the right shoulder. After the Focus sideswiped the semitrailer, the car’s driver overcorrected to the left, lost control, and struck the concrete center median barrier. The Focus came to rest in the roadway, blocking the left eastbound lane. As the trailing traffic began to slow and stop, it formed a queue. Several motorists exited their vehicles and began to push the disabled Focus to the right shoulder. The queue of stopped vehicles and approaching but slowing vehicles extended back from the accident site approximately 1,500 feet to about milepost 321.5. Meanwhile, about 1:19 p.m., a 76-year-old truck driver operating a 2008 Volvo truck-tractor in combination with an empty 2009 Great Dane refrigerated semitrailer was traveling eastbound in the outside (right) lane of I-44 at approximately 69 mph. (The posted speed limit was 75 mph.) The truck driver did not react to the queue of slowing and stopped vehicles and collided with the rear of a 2003 Land Rover sport utility vehicle (SUV). As both vehicles moved forward, the Land Rover struck a 2003 Hyundai Sonata and then departed the right lane and shoulder, coming to rest off the roadway. The Volvo continued forward, struck and overrode the Hyundai Sonata, struck and overrode a 2004 Kia Spectra, and then struck the rear of a 2000 Ford Windstar minivan. The Volvo overrode a portion of the Windstar while pushing it into the rear of a livestock trailer being towed by a 2004 Ford F350 pickup truck. The Ford pickup truck was pushed forward and struck a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. The Volvo combination unit came to rest approximately 270 feet past the point where it initially struck the Land Rover. As a result of the Volvo combination unit’s striking the slowed and stopped vehicle queue on I-44, 10 passenger vehicle occupants died, 5 received minor-to-serious injuries, and the driver of the Volvo combination unit was seriously injured.1 The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the Volvo truck driver’s fatigue, caused by the combined effects of acute sleep loss, circadian disruption associated with his shift work schedule, and mild sleep apnea, which resulted in the driver’s failure to react to slowing and stopped traffic ahead by applying the brakes or performing any evasive maneuver to avoid colliding with the traffic queue. Contributing to the severity of the accident were the Volvo truck-tractor combination unit’s high impact speed and its structural incompatibility with the passenger vehicles.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: After establishing performance standards for event data recorders for trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings over 10,000 pounds, require that all such vehicles be equipped with event data recorders meeting the standards.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Miami, OK, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY09MH015
Accident Reports: Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Rear-End Collision Into Passenger Vehicles on Interstate 44
Report #: HAR-10-02
Accident Date: 6/26/2009
Issue Date: 10/21/2010
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Recorders

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: These recommendations are two of four (Safety Recommendations H-99-54, and H-10-7, -14, and -15) that we have issued addressing heavy vehicle EDRs. We are disappointed that you have not developed performance standards or a requirement to address this important safety issue 7 years after we issued these recommendations. Our 2017–2018 Most Wanted List includes the issue area “Expand Recorder Use to Enhance Safety” because we continue to investigate accidents in which the lack of vehicle data available during the investigation represents a missed opportunity to better understand why and how the crash occurred. We note that you were drafting a white paper explaining your perspective on heavy vehicle EDRs; however, we understand that you did not publish that paper. We believe it would be helpful for our staffs to discuss the current state of EDR use and research. Pending such a discussion, Safety Recommendations H 10 14 and -15 remain classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

Date: 4/12/2016
Response: From Mark Rosekind, Administrator: We provided updates to four of the reiterated Safety Recommendations (H-99-54, H-10-7, H-10-14, and H-10-I5) in a letter dated December 18, 2015. These four Safety Recommendations request that the agency develop and implement performance standards for heavy vehicle event data recorders in trucks and buses over 10,000 pounds. In the December 18 letter, we responded that we intend no further action and requested that these four Safety Recommendations be closed. Safety Recommendation H-10-03 requested that NHTSA's rulemakings include all buses (other than school buses) with GVWRs above 10,000 pounds in order to improve motorcoach roof strength, occupant protection, and window glazing standards. Mid-size buses were discussed in our final rule requiring seat belts on buses 1 and in the proposed rule for bus rollover structural integrity. 2 The agency did not expand applicability of these rulemaking actions to buses with GVWRs between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds because development of a regulation for these buses was not found to be cost beneficial. We intend no further action on this Safety Recommendation, and request that this Safety Recommendation be closed. In summary, we are requesting that Safety Recommendation H-15-04 be classified as "Open Acceptable Response". For the reiterated recommendations H-99-54, H-10-03, H-10-07, H-10-14, and H-10-15, NHTSA intends no further action, and requests that these recommendations be closed.

Date: 12/18/2015
Response: Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Administrator: We intend no further activity for these four Safety Recommendations (H-99-54, H-10-14, H-10-15, and H-10-7) and request they be closed. These four reiterated recommendations request the agency develop and implement performance standards for HVEDRs in trucks and buses over 10,000 pounds. We have studied the issues relating to establishment of performance requirements for HVEDRs and decided not to pursue installation requirements for them. Our analysis found that many of the important heavy vehicle crash characteristics are obtainable through traditional crash investigation methods. For those data elements of most interest that are not available through investigative means (e.g., vehicle acceleration or advanced safety technology activation) recording such data on HVEDR would require installation of additional sensor systems. The added expense of installing sensors to collect these additional data and meet the requirements of a HVEDR rulemaking is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future. Current HVEDR installation rates are also very low and so their fleet-wide installation alone will add cost. All of these factors combined would make justification of a HVEDR mandate difficult through a cost-benefit analysis. We have drafted a white paper outlining these issues and expect to publish that paper this year. A copy of this paper will be provided to NTSB staff when it becomes available.

From: NTSB
Date: 12/14/2015
Response: From the Report: Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Median Crossover Collision With Medium-Size Bus on Interstate 35, Davis, Oklahoma,, September 26, 2014, Highway Accident Report NTSB/HAR-15/03 (Washington, DC: National Transportation Safety Board, 2015, Notation 8610B): Dedicated EDRs would not only have been more likely to survive the collision forces and power failure of this crash, but also to yield critical crash data on driver inputs and vehicle dynamics throughout the collision sequence, far beyond the capabilities of a typical EECU. The lack of such data in this collision represents another missed opportunity to better understand the crash why it happened as well as the crash dynamics between the truck-tractor and the bus. Although NHTSA has made progress in developing EDR standards for light vehicles, it has not yet developed standards for nor required the use of EDRs in heavy vehicles, including motorcoaches, school buses, truck-tractor semitrailer combination units, and medium-size buses. The NTSB concludes that because of the continued lack of standards and requirements for EDRs in trucks and buses over 10,000 pounds GVWR, data that are crucial to the improved understanding of crashes, as well as to overall vehicle safety, continue to go unrecorded. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-99-54 and H-10-7, -14, and -15 to NHTSA.

From: NTSB
Date: 8/4/2015
Response: Reiterated in the Highway Accident Report Truck-Tractor Double Trailer Median Crossover Collision with Motorcoach and Postcrash Fire on Interstate 5 in Orland, California on April 10, 2014. HAR-15-01. Notation 8590A. Adopted on July 14, 2015. Issued on August 4, 2015. Upon issuance of Safety Recommendation H-10-7, Safety Recommendation H-99-53 was classified “Closed--Unacceptable Action/Superseded.” Safety Recommendations H-99-54 and H-10-7 are currently classified “Open–Unacceptable Response.” Additionally, in the investigation of a heavy vehicle collision in Miami, Oklahoma, in June 2009, in which there were 10 fatalities, the NTSB (2010b) made the following recommendations to NHTSA: Develop and implement minimum performance standards for event data recorders for trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings over 10,000 pounds that address, at a minimum, the following elements: data parameters to be recorded; data sampling rates; duration of recorded event; standardized or universal data imaging interface; data storage format; and device and data survivability for crush, impact, fluid exposure and immersion, and thermal exposure. The standards should also require that the event data recorder be capable of capturing and preserving data in the case of a power interruption or loss, and of accommodating future requirements and technological advances, such as flashable and/or reprogrammable operating system software and/or firmware updates. (H-10-14) After establishing performance standards for event data recorders for trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings over 10,000 pounds, require that all such vehicles be equipped with event data recorders meeting the standards. (H-10-15) To date, NHTSA has failed to develop standards or require the use of EDRs for heavy vehicles, which include motorcoaches, school buses, or truck-tractor units such as the one involved in the Orland collision. Had the accident truck-tractor and the motorcoach been equipped with dedicated crash EDRs built to minimum performance standards—which include device and data survivability—vital precrash and crash information could have been captured, allowing for a more comprehensive investigation and analysis. Both Safety Recommendations H-10-14 and -15 are currently classified “Open—Unacceptable Response.” 2.8.2 Safety Recommendations The lack of EDR data for the Orland collision represents another missed opportunity to better understand why and how the crash occurred. The NTSB concludes that, due to a lack of standards and requirements for heavy vehicle EDRs, crash data essential to better understanding collisions continue to go unrecorded, thus impeding improvements in highway safety. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-99-54 and H-10-7, -14, and -15 to NHTSA.

From: NTSB
Date: 6/19/2012
Response: The NTSB is concerned about NHTSA’s continued slow progress in addressing the issue of EDRs for heavy vehicles. Similar recommendations from our 1999 bus crashworthiness study and our 2009 Dolan Springs, Arizona, accident report asks for an EDR requirement for all buses above 10,000 pounds GVWR, and both recommendations are classified “Open—Unacceptable Response.” The NTSB understands that NHTSA worked with SAE International to develop EDR performance standards, and we expected to receive NHTSA’s decision on rulemaking for heavy vehicles, including trucks and buses, sometime in 2010. According to NHTSA’s 2010-2013 Priority Plan, that rulemaking decision was delayed until 2011, yet, midway through 2012, we still have not received any indication of how the agency plans to address the need for heavy vehicle EDRs. We note that NHTSA has put voluntary standards in place for passenger vehicle EDRs and plans to publish an NPRM to require these recorders for passenger vehicles sometime this year. We encourage NHTSA to move forward promptly with rulemaking on an EDR requirement for buses and trucks above 10,000 pounds GVWR. Pending such action, Safety Recommendations H-10-14 and -15 are classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

Date: 7/5/2011
Response: CC# 201100254: From David L. Strickland, Administrator: NHTSA is currently in the process of identifying appropriate performance requirements, implementation issues, economic impacts, and data collection needs to be considered for Heavy Vehicle Event Data Recorders (HVEDRs). The agency laid the groundwork for this process over the past several years by working with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Truck and Bus Committee in the development of SAE Recommended Practice J2728, "Heavy Vehicle Event Data Recorder (HVEDR) - Base Standard." This recommended practice was published in June 20 I 0 and defines specifications and functional requirements for the recording of crash data. The agency is currently assimilating this, and other relevant information, in order to make a regulatory decision in 2011. With regard to the reiteration of H-01-06, -7, and H-08-15 and the reclassification of H-01-06, -7, H-06-16, NHTSA will outline our current activities and respond to these recommendations in the coming weeks. As always, we appreciate the NTSB's efforts toward our shared commitment to improving transportation safety. The safety of heavy commercial vehicles is a critical component to fulfilling our mission to prevent deaths and injuries on the Nation's roadways. NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Rulemaking and Research Priority Plan 201 1-2013 (available at delineates our near-term actions in addressing these populations and vehicle types. We respectfully request that Recommendations H-10-12 through -15 be classified as "Open, Acceptable Response," based on our activities outlined above. If you have any questions, or require additional information, please contact me, or Ms. Melanie O'Donnell, our NTSB liaison in the Office of Governmental Affairs, Policy and Strategic Planning.